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Why Can’t I Join My Friend’s Minecraft Server

in General

mc head By Nathan Young

Why Can't I Join My Friend's Minecraft Server


Loading up Minecraft to join a friend’s server is an activity done by millions across the world, with a small number of them experiencing issues along the way. These problems disrupt the player’s connection and can be tricky to troubleshoot. Whether it’s related to game versions or server crashes, there’s a wide variety of causes for this situation. Fortunately, there’s always one or more solutions to these connectivity issues. However, some users might be unable to troubleshoot for themselves due to confusion or frustration. Remember, there’s a wide range of possibilities for both the cause and solution. With this in mind, we’ve created this Apex Hosting guide to answer and resolve why you’re unable to join a friend’s Minecraft server.

Connection Issues

Minecraft Common Connection Problems

The first approach to troubleshooting your Minecraft connection issue is understanding its cause, as this aspect determines how you’ll fix it. Due to this, we’ve created a list of the most common situations that you and others have likely experienced. Make sure to review the problem and solution accordingly when checking out the subsections below. Additionally, you can take a peek at our Server Errors page to find specific issues with fixes. For our purposes in this guide, we’ll be focusing on the default Minecraft launcher since the vast majority of players use it. In cases where you’re using CurseForge or other clients, our solutions may still apply. Regardless of this, there’s always an available option to fix your connection issue in Minecraft. When you’re ready, review the information below to get started.

Outdated Game / Server Version

Problem: Players are unable to join the Minecraft server due to an incompatible game version. For example, users can’t connect on 1.20 when it’s supposed to be 1.19.2 and vice versa. Essentially, this occurs when the server and your launcher don’t share the same version. As for the exact error message, this may change depending on the situation. Whether it’s happening on the server or the client’s end, this aspect can be slightly different.

Minecraft Outdated Server

Solution: Reconfigure your Minecraft launcher profile to load the correct game version used on the server to successfully join without further issues. For the default client, this process includes entering your Installations section and choosing a compatible type. Whether you make a new profile or have an existing one, make sure it’ll use the same version that’s also on the Minecraft server.

Minecraft Authentication Offline

Minecraft Auth Error

Problem: Users are unable to join Minecraft servers due to authentication servers being offline or in maintenance mode. This occurs when Mojang is experiencing issues on their end, typically caused by regular downtime to uphold their system’s health. In some cases, there can be other reasons causing the widespread issue in Minecraft that aren’t immediately shared with the public. We suggest following Mojang on X, formally known as Twitter, to receive more details.

Solution: Restart the Minecraft launcher and/or re-login to your account to see if that resolves the situation. Alternatively, rebooting the server and directly connecting might help. However, this is ultimately fixed by Mojang themselves since the authentication servers are theirs to control.

Username Verification Failure

Problem: Connecting players receive an error message about verifying their username due to authentication servers failing to verify the account. This happens randomly during your gameplay but mainly impacts cracked or offline users. Similar to the above issue, this tends to be a Mojang-related cause. However, this can be caused by the Minecraft launcher incorrectly loading the game. This doesn’t happen too often, but does occasionally occur for some players.

Minecraft Invalid Username

Solution: Restart your Minecraft launcher, then load up the game on your desired profile to reinitialize the authentication system. Doing this should help resolve the entire situation, but some users might need to completely sign out and re-login to their account to fix the problem. As for cracked Minecraft players, make sure the server is set in offline mode to bypass the authentication servers.

Banned Account / IP Address

Minecraft Banned Account

Problem: A specific user is unable to join the Minecraft server due to their account or IP address being blacklisted. This happens when an operator or administrator issues a ban on you, which can be triggered by multiple reasons including pranks by friends. The error message can vary depending on the server’s configuration but should state the punishment in most cases. However, this situation can also be a direct result of being banned by Mojang’s Player Reporting policy.

Solution: Appeal your ban on the server’s website or by contacting mods, admins, or operators. If your friend caused this situation, then have them run the /unban [player] or /pardon [player] command in-game. If Mojang itself banned the account, visit the Official Appeal Form to hopefully get this punishment reverted. This process can take some time, so be patient as you await a response.

Invalid Mod Configuration

Problem: Players will receive a mismatched channel error upon connecting due to an invalid client configuration. This happens when your installed mods don’t match the server’s list or vice versa. Essentially, the files stored on your launcher aren’t prepared correctly for a successful connection. Keep in mind that only players using Forge, Fabric, and other mod loaders can encounter this situation. There can also be additional information accessible in the server’s console logs.

Minecraft Mismatched Mod Channel List

Solution: Download and install the missing mods on your launcher or server to resolve the situation. In cases where modpacks are used, consider reinstalling it on your client to see if that helps. The same concept applies to the server too, with both methods shown in this guide. These processes may require reaching out to an administrator or owner.

Minecraft Server Crashes

Minecraft Server Crash Message

Problem: Anyone attempting to join will be met with an error message about the connection being forced offline. This happens when specific events or activities are done on the server, resulting in a widespread crash. Whether changes were made like installing new mods, plugins, or editing config files, the causes for this situation greatly range. This concept applies to any Minecraft server across all game versions and loaders, meaning every hosted multiplayer world can encounter these crashes.

Solution: Revert any recently made changes on the server or restore from a backup to resolve the problem. Occasionally, in-game troubleshooting may be required if entities or mobs are the cause. We encourage you to contact our 24/7 Support Team for assistance if your Minecraft server is crashing.

Poor Connection / Performance

Problem: Certain players joining the server may get timed out due to a poor internet connection or low performance on their machine. This can occur when your router is experiencing speed issues, resulting in the situation. However, having a lack of dedicated resources on your computer can also contribute to this problem. Whether in-game events trigger it or not, this issue can be caused by several factors.

Minecraft Timed Out

Solution: Reboot the router in your house by unplugging and replugging it, thereby resetting the internet connection. Alternatively, allocate more memory to your Minecraft launcher for an improved experience to hopefully fix the situation. If you’re still having trouble, then consider reducing the amount of entities, mobs, or other activities in-game.


There’s a wide variety of reasons for being unable to join your friend’s Minecraft server. Whether you notice the authentication servers are offline or recent mods caused the issue, the number of potential causes are high. Fortunately, troubleshooting and resolving these situations tend to be straightforward. This means there should be a solution to most problems preventing a successful connection, with only a handful of times being handled differently. This guide showcased the most common issues when trying to join your friend’s Minecraft server, among their fixes to help you begin playing again.

Useful Links

Apex Hosting Server Errors Page
How to Fix an Outdated Minecraft Version
Fixing a Failed Username Verification Error
How to Fix Mismatched Mod Channels Error

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